The USGS is using remote sensing technology as part of a field-to-sky approach for integrated monitoring and assessment of wetland-upland landscapes across the United States and Canada. This approach was developed for the Terrestrial Wetland Global Change Research Network (TWGCRN), a U.S.–Canadian effort to assess key impacts of climate, interacting with other drivers of global change (for example, land-cover and land-management change), on wetland-upland landscapes across environmental gradients in North America. TWGCRN goals are to inform stakeholders of 1) actual and projected impacts of biodiversity-related and other critical ecosystem services and 2) conservation options for mitigating negative effects. TWGCRN partners are maximizing the power of a network by efficiently leveraging resources and skills across organizations, disciplines, and research sites via integrated, standardized approaches and cutting-edge technologies. These include using data collected from satellite and plane-based systems to assess snow presence, ice-out, vegetation green-up and structure, surface-water extent, land-cover change, and habitat connectivity for a growing set of landscape research nodes over time. Simultaneously, partners use digital sound recorders and other field sensors and methods to assess bird and amphibian calling, phenology and habitat occupancy, air and water temperatures, and water quantity and quality at multiple wetlands per research node, all in relation to climate and human activities. This integrated, standardized approach to measuring the timing of climate-related physical, hydrologic, and biological events across the landscape affords a unique opportunity to compare phenological changes across local, regional, and continental scales, and along several physical and ecological gradients. http://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/fs20123103 http://www.umesc.usgs.gov/twgcrn.html
Examples of sensors from which partners use data to characterize and monitor conditions of wetland-upland landscapes across spatiotemporal scales. Highlighted on the globe in the center are some of the Terrestrial Wetland Global Change Research Network nodes. Multiple wetlands are monitored in situ at each node, and one or more landscape blocks of 50 km x 50 km are the footprint used for remote sensing at each node.